Wright Foundation | March 18, 2020

Purpose in the Time of Coronavirus: The Wellness Boost You Need

Watching the spread of Coronavirus has left so many of us feeling vulnerable these days.

Looking for a wellness boost? Here’s what you can do to keep your mind, body, and spirit strong and healthy as we experience COVID-19.

While we don’t have an answer to the virus, one of the best ways we can keep up our mental, spiritual, and even physical health is to understand the importance of living with a sense of purpose. Purpose is crucial to our wellbeing, now more than ever.

The Benefits of Purpose

In studies carried out amongst nuns (who live their lives with a great deal of purpose), scientists found that a sense of purpose protected their brains against cognitive decline, even when brain scans showed that they had been ravaged by Alzheimer’s.

In another study, a sense of purpose resulted in a 19% reduction in the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. People who reported a strong sense of purpose and meaning in their lives had Watching the spread of Coronavirus has left so many of us feeling vulnerable these days., more energy, better sleep patterns, a more satisfying sex life, and even lived longer!

The benefits of purpose are HUGE. Even when we aren’t practicing social distancing, working from home, and fighting a pandemic, purpose is vital. But now more than ever, fostering and holding onto our sense of purpose is absolutely critical.

How to Find Your Purpose in Any Situation

So how do we find our purpose, especially when the world feels frightening and so tumultuous right now?

Someone recently mentioned that Shakespeare wrote King Lear when he was quarantined for the plague. As we fight through our own pandemic of the Coronavirus, Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Martin of Coldplay, and other artists have been playing songs and offering impromptu online concerts. Broadway actress Laura Benanti reached out to any young theater performers with canceled plays to record and perform them for her.

But what if you aren’t Shakespeare, Yo-Yo Ma, or another award-winning performer? Can you still find a sense of purpose? Absolutely! In fact, I would argue even more so!

Purpose isn’t based on one big act or huge achievement. You don’t need to write King Lear or play the cello. A sense of purpose is cultivated and built in a series of moments. It comes from being mindful and deliberate in each moment. It comes from reaching out with our hearts to those around us!

When we’re isolated or socially distant, it may mean volunteer opportunities are canceled. Church services are postponed. Our yoga studio isn’t open and our friends are sequestered in their homes…but we can still find a sense of purpose.

Find Purpose NOW More than Ever

So, how do we find our purpose during this troubled time?

Reach out! Take this time to connect with others by phone or video. Take a course online. Use this opportunity to explore some of the virtual museum tours available or use Google Earth to take yourself on a virtual vacation. The key to purpose is to find ways to get your yearnings met—and to meet the yearnings of others.

How will you reach out today? How will you connect and engage with others? Purpose is the counterfoil to becoming frozen by fear. Purpose helps us to keep moving forward, even when we’re scared or worried.

If you’re ready to learn more about harnessing your sense of purpose, I want to invite you to join me tomorrow for a special FREE interactive webinar on the Neuroscience of Purpose. From 6:00-8:00pm Central time, we’ll virtually interface, connect, and share ways to bring a greater sense of purpose to your life—it’s something we all need, now more than ever. Click here to register.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.